Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys-Redskins: 5 things to watch


1 Rest or play?

The Dallas Cowboys still could earn a bye in the postseason, but winning this game likely won’t matter. So the question all week has been should the Cowboys simply view the regular-season finale as their “bye” week by resting starters? Jason Garrett says no and the players agree. Staying active and trying to keep the momentum going is priority No. 1.

2 Chasing records

DeMarco Murray is the league’s leading rusher and a virtual lock to finish the season that way. He is also only 29 yards from breaking Emmitt Smith’s franchise record of 1,773 yards. If Murray plays, it’s a safe bet that he’ll break it. Dez Bryant needs two touchdown catches to break Terrell Owens’ single-season mark of 15, set in 2007.

3 MVP talk

Tony Romo is gaining steam as the season comes to a close to be in the MVP conversation. He hasn’t put up gaudy statistics, but his completion percentage (70.3) and passer rating (114.4) lead the league. This has been his best season, but is it the best in the NFL, too?

4 Defensive showing

Nobody expected the Cowboys’ defense to be good. Most thought it’d be quite an accomplishment if it wasn’t historically bad. But the unit has exceeded expectations, with the latest example coming when Dallas shut down the top-ranked Indianapolis Colts offense. If the defense continues to play at a high level, this team could make a serious run.

5 Opponent note

Washington Redskins linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat is set to make his first NFL start against the Cowboys, a team for whom his father, Jim, played from 1983-94. Jackson Jeffcoat, a University of Texas product, recorded his first career sack last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jeffcoat is in the starting lineup because Trent Murphy is out with an injury. — Drew Davison

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